June 19, 2024

3 keys for Bears as they visit Browns in crucial Week 15 game

A look at how they can manage star pass rusher Myles Garrett and other issues.

The Bears are trying to keep their season relevant as long as possible, and winning against the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday would help a lot.

At 5-8, the Bears still have a lot to play for beyond the fact that key figures in the organization have shaky job security. They’re chasing their first winning season since 2018 and would need to sweep their remaining games to get there, and if they did that, they’d be in the mix for a playoff spot.

Bears' Yannick Ngakoue headed to IR with broken ankle - ESPN

Here are three keys for the Bears against the Browns:

Come up with an answer for DE Myles Garrett

Even though Garrett is a two-time All-Pro and has 13 sacks, the Bears can’t just shrug and throw their hands up. They have to come up with ways to minimize the pressure he creates. They can chip and double team, and the more they get quarterback Justin Fields on the run, the better.

Get another pass rusher to step up

Defensive end Yannick Nagkoue didn’t solve the Bears’ pass-rush problem when they signed him in training camp, but he was playing better after the arrival of Montez Sweat, so it was a significant blow when he went on injured reserve with a broken ankle. The Bears need someone to step up as a running mate for Sweat. DeMarcus Walker is the one they’re paying to do that, so the responsibility is on him.

Convert takeaways into points

The Bears have missed a lot of opportunities off takeaways lately, and they can’t hope to keep getting away with that. They got one touchdown off two takeaways against the Lions (their third takeaway was late in the game, and the Bears just ran the clock out), and in the previous game turned the Vikings’ four turnovers into one field goal. This team isn’t good enough to win without being opportunistic.

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